IMA Global Salary Survey Finds Higher Salaries for Certified Management Accountants

Marc Gerrone
(201) 474-1502

Taylor Fenske
Stern Strategy Group
(908) 325-3866

Montvale, N.J., March 16, 2017 – This year’s Global Salary Survey from IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) once again reveals accountants who earn the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) certification make more in base salary and total compensation than their non-certified peers. The Global Salary Survey is the cover story of this month’s edition of Strategic Finance, the award-winning flagship publication of IMA. The global and U.S. data is also available on IMA’s website – – where additional regional reports are forthcoming.

Based on responses from more than 2,500 respondents across 81 countries, the survey reveals that finance professionals with CMA certification earn 45 percent more than non-CMAs. This suggests employers view the skills developed in the CMA program as invaluable to their business’ success.

More than 80 percent of finance professionals worldwide believe the CMA creates career opportunities and strengthens their ability to move across all areas of the business. This is especially true for young accountants. CMAs in their 20s boast a 50 percent higher base salary, and 50-61 percent more in total compensation when compared to their non-certified peers.

“Accountants who earn the CMA certification early in their career are reaping the benefits,” said Kip Krumwiede, CMA, CPA, Ph.D., director of research at IMA and author of the survey. “These results suggest that many individuals who have earned the CMA are being rewarded for their effort and dedication to professional development.”

In the last year alone, more than 70 percent of survey respondents report receiving a pay raise, and 76 percent are confident they will receive one in the coming year. In addition to compensation, the survey also finds that work-life balance is critical. In fact, 73 percent of respondents across all regions rank work-life balance as the second most vital factor in job satisfaction.

U.S. respondents with CMA certification have a 28 percent higher median total compensation than those without any certification. This percentage rose to 46 percent when accountants paired both CMA and CPA certifications together.

Gender Pay Gap Decreasing
In the past year, the median gender pay gap narrowed for IMA members in their 20s. Specifically, the Mid-Atlantic and Plains states had the smallest pay gaps for women, sitting at 4-8 percent. Also, young female IMA members had 98 percent and 93 percent of men’s median base salary and total compensation, respectively.

“Each year we hope to see some improvement in the pay gap between men and women,” Krumwiede said. “The gap remains pretty small for those members in their 20s, but it continues to be about 20 percent after that. We did find that women in top and senior management positions average about a year less experience in the field and with their employer than their male counterparts.”

About IMA®
IMA®, the association of accountants and financial professionals in business, is one of the largest and most respected associations focused exclusively on advancing the management accounting profession. Globally, IMA supports the profession through research, the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) program, continuing education, networking and advocacy of the highest ethical business practices. IMA has a global network of more than 85,000 members in 140 countries and 300 professional and student chapters. Headquartered in Montvale, N.J., USA, IMA provides localized services through its four global regions: The Americas, Asia/Pacific, Europe, and Middle East/India. For more information about IMA, please visit